Press Archive


The West Virginia Coal Forum wholeheartedly supports a bold request to Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin to join with other states in refusing to file state plans with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency under its controversial “Clean Power Plan” rules. The Coal Forum is an organization representing both labor and management in the coal industry.

West Virginia’s three U.S. House members sent a letter to Tomblin June 3 asking him to join with Texas, Oklahoma and other states that have decided not to file state plans with EPA in spite of the federal agency’s plans to finalize new air pollution rules this summer.

“The constant regulatory attack on the coal industry calls for bold action to be requested of and considered by our executive and other office holders,” said Chris Hamilton, co-chairman of the West Virginia Coal Forum. “The Obama Administration is using every resource available to reduce coal mining and take jobs away from coal miners. Traditional responses from state and local governments are not enough to combat the President. It’s time for West Virginia to take a stand and do what our congressional delegation requests.”

Charleston, WV (June 2, 2015) – The West Virginia Coal Forum – an organization representing both labor and management in the coal industry – in conjunction with multiple local, regional and national partners, will host a forum to highlight the challenges and opportunities facing the coal industry from 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, June 9, at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston. 

Media are encouraged to attend. 

Entitled “West Virginia Coal – 2015 & Beyond”, this first in a series of educational and informational events will bring attention to the impact of U.S. EPA’s Clean Power Plan, state and federal environmental regulations and strategies for confronting these critical issues head on. 

Presenters scheduled to participate include:

  • Senate President Bill Cole
  • House Speaker Tim Armstead
  • Attorney General Patrick Morrisey (InviteD)
  • Dr. John Christy, Climatologist
  • Jeff Herholdt, WV Division of Energy
  • Representatives of the coal and power generation industries
  • Chris Hamilton, Vice-President, WV Coal Association & Co-Chair, WV Coal Forum

Seating is limited and reservations are required.  To make a reservation click here.

Stakeholders in West Virginia’s mining economy – business leaders, association representatives, local legislators and policy leaders – are encouraged to attend.
The West Virginia Coal Forum is planning a number of educational and informational events beginning this June to discuss the impact of regulatory measures on coal mining as well as strategies for confronting the most significant issues.

“West Virginia Coal – 2015 and Beyond” will include representatives from the regulatory sector as well as industry officials and energy experts sharing expertise on a number of topics crucial to today’s coal industry, including the impact of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Clean Power Plan.

By Chris Hamilton

Albert Einstein once defined insanity as “doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results” and for the past 83 years, the West Virginia Legislature and the United Mine Workers have done just that. Now, after our Central Appalachian coal production has declined by more than 43 percent, numerous coal mines have closed, and thousands of jobs have been lost, Cecil Roberts is advocating for the West Virginia Legislature to just keep doing the same thing. This is not just recklessness on part of Roberts and the United Mine Workers, it is insanity.

Our Legislative leaders appear intent to do everything within their power to provide the coal industry with help and optimism so it may survive the next couple years of President Obama’s assault on Central Appalachian Coal Operations. Yes, we also have worsening geology and lots of lower-cost gas, but rest assured, as everyone knows who is remotely close to the coal industry, its misfortunes today principally have been brought about by our president’s attacks (which the UMW repeatedly have embraced).

Charleston, WV, February 5, 2015 - Mine safety is a central focus of West Virginia’s coal industry. At Thursday’s session of the 42nd Annual West Virginia Mining Symposium in Charleston, 54 mining and service companies were recognized for their commitment to exemplary safety performance in 2014.

Topping the list of award winners was Catenary Coal Company’s Samples Mine, of Kanawha County, which took home the Barton B. Lay Milestones of Safety Award.

“Our member companies strive each day to provide their employees with the safest possible workplace,” said Chris Hamilton, senior vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association.  “They have set a standard with their focus on reducing workplace injuries and getting everyone home at the end of their shifts. We applaud their hard work and dedication to this, our most important responsibility.”

Africa faces a dilemma: It's vulnerable to climate change but needs coal to grow robustly. So which way are Africans going?

Africa is the kind of place that makes power companies rub their hands with glee. Economies there have grown steadily, an average 6 percent per year, even though nearly half of the continent’s 1.2 billion people have no electricity. Just think what a little power would do for growth – and the business opportunities for providing that power!